Should public schools require uniforms?

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Dr. R.D.B.(Ben)Laime (not verified)

I don't necessarily think

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I don't necessarily think uniforms perform miracles. Self-discipline is a combination of factors. One commentor said it cost more--really? I did substitute teaching in four different states in public high schools. Only one middle school enforced a dress code(not uniforms). In New Mexico, especially, it makes one wonder if parents know what their children are wearing to school. Simply one would like good manners(not hats in the classroom and boys pull up their trousers/pants). And polls are useless(see pg. 51 in Bill Hillsman's "Run the Other Way" . Hillsman and I don't agree on politics, yet he's right about polls(lies, damn lies, and stupidity). Better that schools try to get students(and maybe teachers) to understand what self-discipline(a la M.Scott Peck, MD). I like your magazine, yet at times.....Cheers.
Mark Newton (not verified)

Ever heard of the First

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Ever heard of the First Amendment? How can we expect our students to understand the Constitution when we won't allow them to use it?
Dona (not verified)

I recently transfered from a

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I recently transfered from a suburban school without uniforms to an uban school with a basic uniform policy. Our uniforms are easy - white tops, black slacks, skirts, jumpers or shorts. The purpose is to eliminate the gang colors, and it helps. But one thing I notice even more is that the students are not commenting about clothing. It is just a matter of fact. At the suburban school clothing was an issue. I heard a kindergarten student comment,"You wore that dress on Tues. Why are you wearing it again?" Not to mention comments from older students who pushed the dress code limit with inappropriate fashions. At that school clothing was often the topic of hurtful conversations at recess. It is refreshing to see the polite behavior of the children at this school and how the black and white "uniform" makes clothing a non-issue.
Kathy Hersh (not verified)

As a parent, I voted pro

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As a parent, I voted pro uniforms (inexpensive, low maintenance) because I think it avoids problems like economic discrimination and bullying. However, I do favor gender neutral, like slacks, shorts instead of skirts for girls. There are many ways to express one's individuality rather than through clothing. Outlets for personal creative expression should always be available in schools (through the arts and school journalism) for those who wish to use them. Those outlets are healthier (and cheaper) than all the focus on clothing, hair, and makeup.
Scott Ellingson (not verified)

The dress code debate is

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The dress code debate is never an easy one. One thing that I do know is that when I dress in a shirt and tie at school, the students respond to me much differently than when I have worn casual clothing such as khaki pants and a polo shirt. By taking that approach with students, a more dress casual code for students may have the same effect on them. I have heard of schools with a more uniform (as in consistent) policy not having as many instances of behavioral issues and a slight increase in achievement. The one thing we as teachers can do is come looking professional, and lead by example.
Glen L. Bledsoe (not verified)

Some of the worst crimes in

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Some of the worst crimes in history have been committed by people wearing uniforms. The Nazi looked particularly sharp in their uniforms, and no one could make the case that their mode of dress improved their behavior or learning. Conversely some of the greatest good has been performed by people wearing uniforms: nurses, priests, fireman, nuns. The uniform doesn't create behavior. It doesn't level the economic identity because the well-to-do kids will always find a way to display their wealth whether it be in expensive shoes, coats, watches, cell-phones. We advertise ourselves as a free society. So long as students are making good decisions about their dress, why should we take this simple freedom away?
Ann Booth (not verified)

Standardized dress (as

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Standardized dress (as opposed to uniforms) is my preference. Our district does have a fairly strict dress code, but it does not eliminate all problems. Some neighboring districts have standardized dress which requires students to wear a certain type of clothing (jeans, khakis, collared polo-type shirts). I think this helps with the "class" distinction. I see this distinction as a teacher. As a mother I cringe at the beginning of the year since my child (who buys a lot of his own clothes) has gone from inexpensive to expensive clothing. Even with standardized dress, we would see the difference in the "haves" and the "have nots", but the difference would not be as glaring (especially for the girls).
Abraham Andero (not verified)

Uniform is a part of school

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Uniform is a part of school culture.
Barbara (not verified)

Adults modeling for children

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Adults modeling for children and young people is well established as a powerful influence. Improving professional dress in the adults may be a starting point for changing or improving student dress.
Marvin Kowalewski (not verified)

As a response to Edward, I

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As a response to Edward, I guess you forgot that when you look good, you feel good. That was a DJ's coaching to teens in Detroit back in the days of teen clubs and a good parks and rec program. As a Brief Solution Focused Therapist and a school coach, I tell students that need to gain trust into their teacher's and parent's account--"fake until you make it". Guess what? Kids find they do gain respect and do enjoy the "hallow effect"--if the research is saying they have hallows--well maybe they do.
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